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INSTANT IMPRINTS Franchise Complaints

Note: This post was originally published in 2012. Comments and updates invited below. Instant Imprints has continued to experience problems and closures to the present day. For more information on the Instant Imprints franchise, its SBA loan defaults and its Canadian franchises, check out the Franchise Issues ( website.

The Instant Imprints franchise has an outrageous 49% SBA loan default rate, according to a Small Business Administration report.

The Instant Imprints franchise chain has shrunk 64% since 2008, dropping from 80 U.S. franchises to just 29 Instant Imprint franchises at the end of 2011.

Are you familiar with the Instant Imprints franchise? 

If so, please share your experience, opinions or insights with a comment below.

Yet despite its seemingly abysmal failure rate, Instant Imprints not only continues to market its franchise opportunity, it uses “risk reduction” as a main selling point (!)

According to the Instant Imprints franchise website:

So, why franchise with Instant Imprints? Franchising is all about risk reduction. Our systems are tested and proven to work. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you will be able to focus on what’s important to you: your business, and your family.

We can help you achieve your financial goals with minimal pains…

You will be able to share the experiences of many other franchisees and learn from experienced staff. All of these benefits combined, plus the powerful support and marketing engines and our unique concept are a great value and an exciting opportunity!

Risk reduction?  Really?  Data released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) indicates that Instant Imprints franchise owners who qualified for SBA-backed franchise loans have an outrageously high loan failure rate of 49%.

That earns Instant Imprints a spot in’s list of WORST FRANCHISES IN AMERICA (by SBA loan defaults)

Instant Imprints franchise owners have an outrageous 49% SBA default rate.

The apparent drop in Instant Imprints franchises in recent years is also a franchise red flag.

Instant Imprints Franchise
Instant Imprints U.S. franchises in 2008: 81
Instant Imprints U.S. franchises in 2011: 28
Growth in franchise units 2008 – 2011 (#) -53
Growth in franchise units 2008 – 2011 (%): -64%
SBA loans granted since 2001: 53
SBA loan failure rate: 49%
Sources: Entrepreneur, Instant Imprints franchise disclosure document  (growth), Coleman report (SBA)

*Note:  This chart initially contained typos which have since been corrected.

The inability to repay an SBA-backed loan (or any franchise loan, for that matter) indicates a serious situation for the franchisee.

It’s likely that Instant Imprints franchise owners who received SBA loans may have collateralized their franchise loan with their homes or other personal assets, and many were unable to repay those franchise loans… despite the serious incentive to do so.

Are you familiar with the Instant Imprints franchise opportunity?

What do you think accounts for the SBA loan failure rate of Instant Imprints franchise owners?

What steps should Instant Imprints and No Frill Franchising, Inc. be taking to stop further franchise failures?

Has Instant Imprints and No Frill Franchising, Inc. taken serious action to address the problems that led to these loan failures?

Please share a comment (anonymous is fine) or Contact

If you are a Instant Imprints franchise representative or employee, please feel free to leave a comment or email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]



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7 thoughts on “INSTANT IMPRINTS Franchise Complaints

  • Amjid Qazi

    I need some more information as I am planning to engage with them as a Franchise purchaser to one of their outlet in British Columbia Canada.

    Thanks and best regards

    Amjid Qazi
    Surrey BC V3Z 9T1 Canada

  • Don't Be Fooled

    Read the article, it sounds like a recipe for failure. Do not be afraid to back out…you do not want to go through an expensive, life-changing, negative experience that will stress you out and possible bankrupt you. Be very leery.

  • I have been in the embroidery business since 1993 and still operating in 2021. You can be successful in this business without a franchise.
    Before you start please do your research especially on cost of equipment, software, employees, location, etc. You have to make a profit for yourself.
    All embroidery machines, screen printers, heat presses, sign makers are not made equal. There is a lot of junk on the market and everything has to have maintenance at some time.
    Take the time to visit existing shops and never be afraid to ask questions.
    Again do your homework first.

  • Jeffrey Baily

    Want to know the real facts about the Instant Imprints franchise? Do yourself a favor and check out the website first.

  • Jeffrey Baily

    Looking for some REAL INFORMATION on the INSTANT IMPRINTS Franchise?

    Check out the website FRANCHISEISSUES.COM and save yourself years of disappointment, frustration and devastating financial losses.

  • Are you considering an Instant Imprints Franchise is the US or Canada?

    Get the facts first and save yourself years of frustration and serious financial hardship.

    Check out franchiseissues dot com

  • Lori F.

    I had an Instant Imprints store from October 2018 through the end of 2019. Worst mistake of my life! I lost a lot of money. This franchise does not provide the support they say they will. Also, in my opinion it is not a business that should be franchised. It is very technical and the business model is such that the owners are not even supposed to do production. That certainly makes the owner very dependent on getting good employees and ones who can be a master of all trades – DTG, screen-print, embroidering, printing, sign making and also providing good customer service. Very difficult business to operate and extremely expensive with the large overhead. Many of my fellow franchisees have gone out of business and filed bankruptcy.
    Check out this website:

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